Zanoni eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 579 pages of information about Zanoni.
rosy, pursed-up mouth that will answer so sparingly to thy flatteries, as if words were a waste of time, and kisses were their proper language.  Oh, pupil of Mejnour!  Oh, would-be Rosicrucian, Platonist, Magian, I know not what!  I am ashamed of thee!  What, in the names of Averroes and Burri and Agrippa and Hermes have become of thy austere contemplations?  Was it for this thou didst resign Viola?  I don’t think thou hast the smallest recollection of the elixir or the Cabala.  Take care!  What are you about, sir?  Why do you clasp that small hand locked within your own?  Why do you—­Tara-rara tara-ra tara-rara-ra, rarara, ta-ra, a-ra!  Keep your eyes off those slender ankles and that crimson bodice!  Tara-rara-ra!  There they go again!  And now they rest under the broad trees.  The revel has whirled away from them.  They hear—­or do they not hear—­the laughter at the distance?  They see—­or if they have their eyes about them, they should see—­couple after couple gliding by, love-talking and love-looking.  But I will lay a wager, as they sit under that tree, and the round sun goes down behind the mountains, that they see or hear very little except themselves.

“Hollo, Signor Excellency! and how does your partner please you?  Come and join our feast, loiterers; one dances more merrily after wine.”

Down goes the round sun; up comes the autumn moon.  Tara, tara, rarara, rarara, tarara-ra!  Dancing again; is it a dance, or some movement gayer, noisier, wilder still?  How they glance and gleam through the night shadows, those flitting forms!  What confusion!—­what order!  Ha, that is the Tarantula dance; Maestro Paolo foots it bravely!  Diavolo, what fury! the Tarantula has stung them all.  Dance or die; it is fury,—­the Corybantes, the Maenads, the—­Ho, ho! more wine! the Sabbat of the Witches at Benevento is a joke to this!  From cloud to cloud wanders the moon,—­now shining, now lost.  Dimness while the maiden blushes; light when the maiden smiles.

“Fillide, thou art an enchantress!”

“Buona notte, Excellency; you will see me again!”

“Ah, young man,” said an old, decrepit, hollow-eyed octogenarian, leaning on his staff, “make the best of your youth.  I, too, once had a Fillide!  I was handsomer than you then!  Alas! if we could be always young!”

“Always young!” Glyndon started, as he turned his gaze from the fresh, fair, rosy face of the girl, and saw the eyes dropping rheum, the yellow wrinkled skin, the tottering frame of the old man.

“Ha, ha!” said the decrepit creature, hobbling near to him, and with a malicious laugh.  “Yet I, too, was young once!  Give me a baioccho for a glass of aqua vitae!”

Tara, rara, ra-rara, tara, rara-ra!  There dances Youth!  Wrap thy rags round thee, and totter off, Old Age!


     Whilest Calidore does follow that faire mayd,
     Unmindful of his vow and high beheast
     Which by the Faerie Queene was on him layd. 
     —­Spenser, “Faerie Queene,” cant. x. s. 1.

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Zanoni from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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